Chinese Survey Ships in Philippine Waters

Posted by George Backwell
Monday, August 18, 2014

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said two Chinese survey vessels had been sighted in a gas-rich area of its exclusive economic zone, raising concerns of heightened tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in deposits of oil and gas resources. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the sea where $5 trillion of ship-borne goods pass every year.

"Recently, we got a report from the armed forces that there were two hydrographic ships in Recto Bank, about 80 nautical miles off Palawan, clearly within our exclusive economic zone," Aquino told a television interview aired on Sunday. Recto Bank is also known as Reed Bank.

"What are they doing there? What kind of studies are they conducting? I hope the presence of these ships will not lead to an increase tension between the two states."

Tensions in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China began in 2011 when Chinese patrol boats harassed a survey ship hired by Anglo-Filipino Forum Energy PLC which won a contact to explore the Reed Bank.

Aquino said two Chinese survey ships were now in the same area where Veritas Voyager, hired by the British-based energy company, was conducting research three years ago.

"The frequent passage of Chinese vessels in Recto Bank is not an innocent exercise of freedom of navigation but is actually done as part of a pattern of illegitimate sovereign patrol in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone," Charles Jose, foreign ministry spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.

"This conduct of sovereignty patrols by China is in violation of both UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), specifically paragaph 5."

In May, Aquino told Southeast Asian leaders that two Chinese ships were also sighted in Galoc, another oil field operating in western Palawan.

Aquino did not say when the military sighted the Chinese survey ships in the Reed Bank and if they were still in the area. The Philippine Navy said three Chinese coast guard vessels have been seen daily around Second Thomas Shoal, not far from Reed Bank.

Another two to three Chinese ships have been seen regularly on patrol around Scarborough Shoal, another part of the disputed South China Sea.

Last month, Forum Energy PLC obtained an approval from the Philippine government to extend by one year its drilling plan for a natural gas project in Reed Bank. The company is now expected to complete by August 2016 drilling for its appraisal wells to assess the size of gas or oil discoveries.

By Manuel Mogato
 

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

2 Americans Rescued North of Cuba

A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew rescued two American sailors whose vessel ran aground approximately 25 miles north of Gibara, Cuba, Friday. Watchstanders

Shell CEO Backs Fossil Fuels, Climate Change Warnings

The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Severe Flooding Cuts Off Lone Road to Alaska's Oilfield

Alaska's lone road to North Slope oil field operations remains closed for the third time in two months while emergency crews continue to redirect flooding from an adjacent river,

Legal

Shell CEO Backs Fossil Fuels, Climate Change Warnings

The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Pipeline Spill Could Hamper California Oil Projects

Hundreds of barrels of oil that gushed from a ruptured coastal pipeline in scenic California this week could stiffen opposition to large oil projects that companies want to build in the state,

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic,

Offshore

Mobil Says Oil Discovery off Guyana is 'Significant'

Unlike almost all its neighbors, Guyana isn’t an oil producer yet. But the energy giant Exxon Mobil recently announced it had discovered “significant” oil off the coast.

US Oil Platform on Fire in Gulf Of Mexico

An oil platform caught fire and was evacuated in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana in the early hours of Friday, though no injuries were reported, the U.

IMO Adopts Polar Code Environmental Provisions

United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted the environmental part of the Polar Code. Hereby, internationally binding regulations on

Vessels

Seaway to Receive Prestigious OECD Award

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced today that it will receive a prestigious award from the Organization for Economic Cooperation

Oil Leak Contained at MV Miner Site

On-site workers acted quickly to contain an oil leak during the final stages of removing the wreck of the MV Miner off Scaterie Island, says the government of Canada’s Nova Scotia province.

Yemen-bound Aid Ship Docks in Djibouti

An Iranian ship carrying humanitarian aid for war-ravaged Yemenis has arrived in Djibouti. It will be inspected by the United Nations so its cargo can be shipped to conflict-torn Yemen.

Government Update

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic,

Mayor Garcetti on Ratification of Port Labor Contract

International Longshore and Warehouse Union members have ratified a five-year contract governing pay and work rules at 29 West Coast ports, including those of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

US Funding for Air Emissions/Alternative Energy Projects

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that up to $1.3 million in Federal funding is now available through cooperative agreements for projects supporting

Offshore Energy

Mobil Says Oil Discovery off Guyana is 'Significant'

Unlike almost all its neighbors, Guyana isn’t an oil producer yet. But the energy giant Exxon Mobil recently announced it had discovered “significant” oil off the coast.

US Oil Platform on Fire in Gulf Of Mexico

An oil platform caught fire and was evacuated in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana in the early hours of Friday, though no injuries were reported, the U.

Protea to Launch Heavy-Lift Cranes at Nor-Shipping

Protea, a global manufacturer of offshore handling equipment, will launch two types of heavy lift cranes at Nor-Shipping 2015 in Oslo, June 2-5. Tomasz Paszkiewicz,

 
 
Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1657 sec (6 req/sec)